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Not to bath ds?

89 replies

humanoctopus · 27/03/2011 23:36

Ds,aged 2 gets horrible eczema flare ups a number of times a year so far.

We have about 3 months of normality, then the horrid red, sore bits start. GP doesn't think its allergy related, as its so infrequent. He has had some infected weeping bits whenever its gotten infected, really rotten for him.

My observation is that whenever he has a bath (just warm water, no detergent), which we did about 3 times weekly, until about 4 monts ago, he has had pre-eczema looking bits, which I blast with tons of aqueous cream, etc.

I am now using plain oil or lotions to massage him, then a soft muslin cloth of wipe him all over. We are 4 months into this regime, without a flare up, so that's good, right?

He doesn't smell, his skin is lovely and soft, and he is happy, without the disturbed sleep that the flare ups bring.

I said this to the HV when she called to do a developmental check. She was asking about his daily routine, etc. She was visibly horrified at his lack of bathing, I was Blush at her reaction. I explained about the eczema and how it was working out so well at the moment.

She phoned me at work on Friday and said that she would like to visit to discuss how I was handling ds. I wouldn't agree to setting a date/time on the spot, as I wanted to get my head around this.

Is is so unreasonable not to bathe him given how it affects him. I really do keep him clean and lovely looking, just feeling worried now.

OP posts:
Mamaz0n · 27/03/2011 23:39

I do think you need to bath him. Even if only once a week.

Whilst he may appear clean and non smelly this will change as he gets older and he needs to get into the habbit of cleaning himself.

FetchezLaVache · 27/03/2011 23:39

Fuck it. As long as he's clean, how you prevent flare-ups is nobody else's business. I recommend lying to the HV in future, though.

FabbyChic · 27/03/2011 23:40

Its a health visitor you don't even have to see them if you don't want to.

They are nosy busy bodies, if your baby is clean and cared for it is no one elses business how you facilitate the cleaning. YOu might be setting yourself up for the baby being scared of water at a later date though, and might find that giving them one bath a week in water would be a start.

FetchezLaVache · 27/03/2011 23:40

Btw have you ever tried a few drops of lavender essential oil in his bathwater? Agree with MamazOn that you won't be able to not bath him forever.

ICanPluck · 27/03/2011 23:41

Can he really not have a bath at least once per week? Sometimes you need a good soak, especially at that age, they can get really grubby. Is there nothing at all the doctor can prescribe to put in his baths? Sorry - no experience of eczema.

What about his hair etc, how does that get washed? Surely a quick dip in the bath, and dried/moisturized straight away once or twice a week can't do that much damage to him?

Pancakeflipper · 27/03/2011 23:41

What you are doing sounds sensible to me.

I wouldn't avoid the HV. I would listen to them then put your point of view over. Do you see a consultant? If not I'd use this to get the HV and GP to refer you. Then you can have an informed chat with someone who knows the subject area.

What about a shower? Does that have the same affect as the bath?

washnomore · 27/03/2011 23:42

If she's going to be like that then in your shoes I'd lie. What does she know about dermatology anyway? Jack shit, that's what. Provided he's clean and hygienic I don't see a problem.

Having said that, as he gets older he will need more dirt-removal (my 3 year old is a grime-magnet, much grubbier now he spends his days "gardening" and painting etc) so I'd probably be introducing very infrequent baths to see how his skin coped.

humanoctopus · 27/03/2011 23:45

I do agree about the water fear issue.

Didn't realise about having a choice in seeing the HV...

I would just love for him to get a bit older so that we could negotiate with him re not scratching eczema patches.

I did a bit of research, from talking with other mums with eczemous babes to alternative remedies. Most did suggest not bathing at all, if you can get a good oil routine going.

His current routine takes about 40 minutes, compared to a 5 minute dip, its a big time committment, but so worth it if he doesn't suffer with eczema.

OP posts:
rockinhippy · 27/03/2011 23:46

its amazing how the health visitors vary so much - when DD was born ours said once a week was more than enough, & more dried out their skin

trust your instincts & bathe as often as YOU feel is right - once a week never did DD any harm, still doesn't most weeks

Have you tried Epsom salts in his bath?? & maybe a few drops of lavender oil too?? if not it might help

FabbyChic · 27/03/2011 23:47

Can you not try introducing a bath into his routine once a week using the lavender oil as suggested so you can then wash his hair and he can play with the bubbles.

AuntiePickleBottom · 27/03/2011 23:49

when ds had baby eczema the doctor gave me cream that could be used in the bath or as a lotion, perhaps your gp can prescribe this.

also i would demand your GP refer him to a dermatologist ( i couldn't see in the op if he was or wasn't under a dermatologist care)

wheredidyoulastseeit · 27/03/2011 23:50

are you using non-biological washing powder on the towels and bedclothes and pyjamas etc, my sons excema improved once I started using fairy on everything.

humanoctopus · 27/03/2011 23:51

Thanks AuntiePickleBottom, I will ask the gp about his bath lotion.

Gp hasn't referred him onto a dermatologist, I will see what he thinks.

OP posts:
humanoctopus · 27/03/2011 23:52

wheredidyoulastseeit I use eco balls for our washing, saves a fortune, and dh has sensitive skin, so helps there too.

OP posts:
rockinhippy · 27/03/2011 23:55

Also have you looked at his diet?? as you say it flares up infrequently it mightt be something he doesn't have often

my DDs skin problems turned out to be urticaria as a result of an intolerance to chemical food additives - at first when tiny via breast milk, GP diagnosed Excema & wouldn't accept that it wasn't that & its only recently we've had that changed on her records as NHS are now taking that seriously - she only ever gets flare ups if she eats foods containing additives

Pancakeflipper · 27/03/2011 23:58

Have you ensured the bath is free of cleaning products or residue from others who have used the bath and left traces of shampoo/shower gel etc in bath?

CakeandRoses · 27/03/2011 23:58

yanbu, it sounds as though you're doing a great job of preventing his eczema but for the reasons above, it might be worth trying a weekly bath.

we bathe our ds (2.5) once a week since getting his eczema under control (using Pure Potion), we've not had a return of it since.

humanoctopus · 27/03/2011 23:58

I think that because its so infrequent, that I haven't gotten serious about finding out the cause, so I will watch his diet for triggers.

Two of the others have allergies, so I am used to the mindfulness re additives, but agree that its important.

OP posts:
AuntiePickleBottom · 28/03/2011 00:00

also the HV may be able to refer him to a dermatologist who can help ypu alot more

Tanith · 28/03/2011 00:03

I never washed DS's hair until he was about 6 or 7 for the same reason. Looked fine and certainly didn't smell. Now that he's older, he has to bath and wash, of course, but the eczema has cleared up now so it's not such a problem.

There are so many types of eczema and they all react or are soothed by different things. It's really trial and error while you sort out what's best to do. DD has now developed eczema, too, so we're going through the trial and error process again. Water can cause a flare-up with some types of eczema and, if that's a problem in DD's case, we'll be stopping her baths, too.
I wouldn't avoid the Health Visitor and I would ask her for suggestions and ideas: she might have some good ones and, if she doesn't, you don't have to follow advice that makes the situation worse.

If your DS is clean, then I don't see what the problem is. How many adults clean their make up off with creams and lotions? Don't we use olive oil to clean with - stainless steel, for example? Soap and water are not the only cleaning agents in the world.
You don't have to bath DS. You do have to keep him clean and healthy so far as you can and preventing flare-ups is part of looking after him, in my opinion. It's likely he'll outgrow it so you can reintroduce bathing him when his skin is less sensitive.

Supermoo · 28/03/2011 00:03

Have you tried Dream Cream from Lush, sorts out dd's scaly bits brilliantly! But, fwiw, YANBU.

vintageteacups · 28/03/2011 00:04

I don't know why she's bothered about how you are cleaning him when it's obvious he is clean and he has poorly eczema.

I have chronic eczema and it's a nightmare the amount of trials you have to go through finding a plan that suits your skin........and then 3 months down the line, your skin changes and the cream you were once able to use, now makes your skin flare up.

You do not have to see a HV- be assertive and just say if she calls again:

"we're okay actually, his skin is much better now and I'm bathing him once a week which is enough. I strip wash him every day so I'm fine for now but will contact you for help in the future should I need to"

My top tip for his eczema is to smooth on a thin layer of vaseline as soon as you see a flare up on his skin - preferably at night so it has time to soak in.

vintageteacups · 28/03/2011 00:05

supermoo is that speciifically for eczema? I flare up if I so much as walk into a Lush shop so I've never tried the products. Are they all natural?

humanoctopus · 28/03/2011 00:06


This HV just gets up my nose.

She drove me crazy and nearly put me into a pit of despair when he was a couple of weeks old as he was only gaining 3 ounces weight per week. She recommended top up feeding with formula. Told me that I mustn't put my ideals re bf ing ahead of his needs. He was referred to a paed doctor who told me he was fine.

She sighed and rolled her eyes when I said that I would be going down the baby lead weaning route. Guaranteed me that I would be buying jars within the month!

I know I shouldn't let her get under my skin, but I do.

OP posts:
vintageteacups · 28/03/2011 00:07

I would have complained if a HV spoke to me or suggested things in that way.

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